Archive for the '’70s Movies/TV' Category



Farrah Fawcett Poster Pen Set (Craft House, 1977)

Farah-1

Farah-2

Oh, Farrah. Even prepubescent boys couldn’t resist you.

More poster art (or poster pen, or poster kit, etc.) sets here.

Knott’s Berry Farm Thanksgiving Weekend Promo (1979)

Thanksgiving 1979

Scott Baio and “special guest stars”? Did they do a variety act? Hurricane was a uniquely atrocious heavy metal band that you should experience at least once.

* * *

Happy Thanksgiving, all. I’ll be back on Monday to kick off my annual Christmas morning series. If you have a photo that you’d like me to feature, send it over!

The Hardy Boys Mysteries Lunchbox (1977)

HB 1977-1

HB 1977-2

HB 1977-3

HB 1977-4

HB 1977-5

HB 1977-6

Nice colors. I want that van.

(Images via eBay)

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries Opening Theme (1977 – 1978)

The theme was written by Glen A. Larson, the creator and executive producer of the show. It’s one of the very best in the medium—haunting, mysterious, and catchy as hell. He also co-wrote the themes for Knight Rider and Battlestar Galactica, among others. (Larson got his show business start in the 1950s as a singer and composer in the Four Preps.) For the third and final season, the format changed (Nancy Drew was dropped and the Boys found themselves working for the Justice Department) and the theme was very unfortunately jazzed up.

I’ve been making my way through Magnum P.I. (another Larson hit) and the The Hardy Boys for the last few months. The shows may be silly at times, and “uncomplicated” compared to today’s supposed “golden age of television,” but I find them cozy, fun, and deeply, refreshingly hopeful.

Movie Theater Marquees: The Exorcist (1973/1974)

Marquee Exorcist Snowball

Exorcist 1974

I don’t remember where I found the first photo, but it shows the Kallet Capitol Theatre, now Rome Capitol Theatre, in Rome, New York. Note the two Disney movies on the right side of the marquee: Snowball Express (1972), a staple at elementary schools across America throughout the 1970s, and The World’s Greatest Athlete (1973).

The second photo, from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, shows The Exorcist UK premiere at London’s Leicester Square Theatre on March 13, 1974. It’s playing with Enter the Dragon. Remember that the next time someone says movies today are just as good as they used to be.

The Exorcist remains the most unforgettably frightening movie ever made, in my opinion, although I still think Jaws is the greatest horror movie ever made. The video below shows many more marquees and premieres, as well as audience reactions to the blockbuster, including lots of fainting.

Great Bad Trailers for Great Bad Movies: Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell (1978)

The incredible bad TV cast includes Richard Crenna (dad), Yvette Mimieux (mom), and Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann (brother and sister). Richards and Eisenmann also starred as siblings in Disney’s Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) and Return from Witch Mountain (1978). (My first two crushes were Richards and Maria Persson, who played Annika in the Pippi Longstocking movies.)

As of now, you can watch Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell here. Skip to the 1:28:20 mark to see the final encounter between Crenna and the devil dog in its wretchedly rendered demonic state. Rawr!

Devil Dog 1978

M*A*S*H Military Base Play Set (Tristar, 1982)

Mash Tristar 1982

One of many M*A*S*H toys released between 1975 and 1983. My favorite was Zee Toys’ die-cast line—up until I saw the Tristar play set (16 square feet of playing surface!). The show was so popular with adults that kids were powerless to escape its draw, especially when there was only one TV in the house.

See a nice write-up and detailed pics of the Tristar line, which included action figures and vehicles, at The Geeksverse.

(Image via Tumblr)

Watership Down Movie Review, 1979

Watership 1979

Watership 1979-2

The film adaptation of Watership Down (1978) is another touchstone of my youth, and, as far as I’m concerned, the most powerful and haunting animated feature ever made. I still remember picking the Richard Adams novel (1972) out of the thrift store book bin in ’81 or ’82 and devouring it over the next several days. (It has more than a little of Tolkien’s myth-making, epic quality.) I have a more emotional connection to the movie, though, and here’s the part of the review that explains why:

Parents should be warned that, like in Disney’s Bambi, death and violence are not strangers to this animal kingdom, and the sight of bunnies in mortal conflict could disturb some of the more tender youngsters. Yet the same parents should remember that children have a keen contempt for the patronizing falseness of nicer-than-real story telling. They, too, are no strangers to raw conflict.

Italics mine. Here was a movie that, while animated, forthrightly explored death, sacrifice, violent conflict, politics, and morality as if younger viewers were bright enough to (1) grasp those concepts and (2) be entertained by the story that employed them. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a montage of the most graphic scenes of “bunnies in mortal conflict,” set to music from The Omen. (The movie pops up frequently on Kindertrauma, and rightly so.)

I know parents who pulled their kids out of Frozen because some scenes (specifically the as-non-graphic-as-possible, nicer-than-real shipwreck and the snow monster) were too disturbing. Frozen! Forget “raw conflict,” these kids aren’t even allowed to suffer a moment of emotional discomfort.

“All the world will be your enemy, prince with a thousand enemies. And whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first, they must catch you—digger, listener, runner, prince with a swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.”

Chills. I get chills.

(The review, written by Dave Chenoweth, is from The Montreal Gazette, January 27, 1979.)

Movie Theater Marquees: Alien (1979)

Alien Criterion 1979

Alien Egyptian 1979

Alien Egyptian 1979-2

The first photo shows the Alien premiere at the Criterion Theater, New York, 1979. The second two are of the premiere at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

The showing at the Egyptian was special. Many of the props, models, and even parts of the set were on display. After you stood in line for an hour or two, you got to walk through a corridor of the Nostromo to get into the lobby, and in the courtyard sat Giger’s massive “Space Jockey.” The masterpiece was promptly vandalized and had to be removed (note the hand touching it in the photo).

All of the pics below are from Lisa Morgan, who unearthed them a few years ago.

Alien Egyptian 1979-3

Alien Egyptian 1979-4

Alien Egyptian 1979-6

(Images via Bow Tie Partners, Aliens and Predators Tumblr, fancollectorgeek.com, and cinriter/Lisa Morgan)

Patrick Swayze’s Roller Disco Routine in Skatetown U.S.A. (1979)

True: Skatetown U.S.A. was Swayze’s film debut. He played Ace, the bad boy.

  1. See Ace chuck his gum at the crowd before he starts his routine. Ace is pissed! Ace is a bad boy!
  2. See Ace remove his tiny belt and whip it around in a frenzy of bad boy rage! Ace will cut you, man (with roller disco choreography)!
  3. See Ace move very slowly around the rink for what seems like an eternity, rubbing his belt on himself, trying to look tough while doing pirouettes on skates, and so on.
  4. Suddenly, Ace drops the belt and pulls off some disco moves I recognize from Saturday Night Fever. Ace picks up speed, hops onto the Skatetown U.S.A. stage, hurls himself off in slow motion, picks up the belt again, and finishes his bad boy routine with a Zorro-esque flourish! Breathe, people. Breathe.

Need more Patrick Swayze on roller skates? Here he is (red suspenders) in a 1981 A&W Root Beer commercial.


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